Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Village should look like one, says councillor

Cllr John Stoves is now the chairman for the parish council after Cllr Michael Cann did not accept the re-election.

At the council’s annual meeting on the eve of Monday, May 16, Cllr Cann was nominated for re-election but announced that he did not want to take on the role for another term. He nominated Cllr Stoves and all were in agreement.

Cllr Stoves has been on the council for about 10 years and is a former vice-chairman.

He did not expect to become chairman but said he hopes he doesn’t let the other councillors down.

He added: “It will be a hard act to follow. They [previous chairmen and chairwomen] all worked extremely hard and it’s a privilege to walk in their footsteps.”

The two main focuses for Cllr Stoves are to get Memorial Park up and running and work on the Sonning Common neighbourhood development plan to “get the village looking as much like a village as possible”.

Cllr Cann, who joined the council in 2020 and became chairman last year, thanked the council and apologised for not having the time to continue chairing. He said he was happy to help in other areas of the council but wanted to put more focus into his business and relaunch his cricket career.

He said: “It has been an honour to have been chairman of the Sonning Common parish council at such an important time for the village. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to spend as much time on the role in the last number of months due to personal and professional commitments.”

Last summer, he was selected to play for the Wales over 50 cricket team which enjoys Tier 1 status internationally and has a number of tournaments coming up including the Caribbean Cup in Barbados in November and the Cricket World Cup next March in Cape Town. Cllr Cann, whose wife runs Barns Cafe at The Herb Farm in Sonning Common, was a professional cricketer for Glamorgan from 1984 to 1991.

“As a former professional cricketer this is a wonderful way for my playing days to wind down. Unfortunately, this and my continued work commitments has meant I haven had as much time as I believe the role deserves,” he said.

He added: “John Stoves is an excellent parish councillor and he has been involved for many years. He is a man of great integrity and concern for the Parish so continuity will continue. I will continue to support John and as chair of finance will still be able to play a smaller part in Parish matters.”

Also at the meeting, Cllr Brian Robinson was voted onto the planning committee and appointed as Sonning Common Primary School liaison, a position which was vacant. Cllr Cann stepped down as Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge liaison and Cllr Leigh Rawlins took the position.

It was agreed by councillors that there should be three members in the HR advisory group rather than the original two. Cllr Carole Lewis and Cllr Vicky Boormam were re-elected and new council chairman, Cllr Stoves was appointed as the third member.

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